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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Shondelle Webster ’18

9 Questions for a Double Major

  1. Why did you choose to attend SUNY Potsdam?
    “I chose SUNY Potsdam because my friends spoke so highly of the university. I also fell in love with the campus and the Performing Arts Center. I was sold on the facility and quality of the Performing Arts Center and all that the College had to offer me as a dancer.”
  2. How did you choose your majors?
    “I chose a double-major in business administration and dance because I am a hands-on individual. I knew that as an artist I would encounter various aspects of business throughout my career, and I wanted to have just as much knowledge in business as I do in dance, so that I would be able to take my craft to further heights. I also felt as though business is in everything that you do, so learning another skill would allow me to expand my career choices, as well as make me more marketable.”
  3. Which classes and professors have been instrumental during your time at SUNY Potsdam?
    “I feel as though all of my classes served unique purposes in teaching me the skills and fundamentals that I need in order to be successful before leaving SUNY Potsdam. However, the most instrumental class that I have taken to date would be my Information Systems class with Dr. Seon Levius. This class has taught me how important technology is in today’s age—that everything is becoming more technological as time progresses, and knowing how to utilize technology to the best of your ability can be beneficial to your success. Dr. Levius has also stressed to us the importance of ‘finding what makes you happy,’ because once you have found that, your success will come.”
  4. Can you talk about your recent dance performances?
    “Recently, I performed in the Spring ’18 Faculty Dance Concert, as well as the Senior Choreographers’ Concert, in which I performed and choreographed my own work. Being in the faculty concert was an unforgettable experience. It was the first time that I performed in the Proscenium Theater and it was the first time that I worked so closely with a faculty member and was able to witness, as well as be a part of their artistic journey.

    Being a choreographer and performer in the Senior Choreographers’ Concert was a humbling experience. At the start of the process, I didn’t think that it would be different from any of the other choreographic productions that I have done here at SUNY Potsdam. However, it was different because I had to create two pieces, one of which I had to choreograph for myself. It was a struggle for me because unlike choreographing work for others, I wasn’t able to see my progress in real time and make changes on the spot that I saw fit, like I could when I have others dancing my work. I am also my own worst critic so constantly having to watch myself on video was something that I had to warm up too.

    I was also given my own personal stage manager and lighting designer. So, not only did I have to create two pieces, but I had to work closely with individuals whose job it was to help me turn my visions into a reality. It’s easy for me to have an idea and take my time to develop it as I go through a process such as this one, but with this process in particular, I knew that I couldn’t do that, because my stage manager and lighting designer also needed enough time so that they could develop my ideas for the main stage. In the end, I am extremely grateful to my dancers, stage manager and lighting designer because we all worked really well together, making the process much easier than anticipated. They worked hard to help me execute my ideas.”
  5. Can you describe a recent project you worked on in one of your business administration classes?
    “Recently, I, along with my seven teammates (our team was the Business Leaders of Tomorrow) worked on a group assignment for our Strategic and Global Management course. We had to develop and create an original product that we would present to a panel of judges/ potential investors. My role for this project was handling the marketing, advertising and some of the information systems for our product. Doing this project requires you to know the ability and quality of your product, your target market and who your consumers would be. Although this was a class project and not a real investment opportunity, I learned a great deal from doing this. I learned how much responsibility, hard work, and time goes into running a business or trying to get one off the ground.”
  6. What are your plans after Commencement?
    “After Commencement, I will be doing a marketing internship for the summer in New York City for a newly developed music streaming service. I will be working as a marketing coordinator to develop and implement digital marketing strategies and develop artist relations. I also plan on continuing my dance training while I am at home and taking classes.”
  7. What’s your goal for your career?
    “I plan on incorporating business administration and dance in the future by managing myself as an artist and one day starting my own company in which, I will offer creative direction and assistance to artists and companies. I plan on providing them with services ranging from business, to the arts and production that will help them enhance the creative aspects of their brand or company.”
  8. What advice would you offer current or prospective students?
    "Take your time! Don’t rush to leave and/or graduate without finding, or at least trying to find yourself and what it is that you are good at, or that you want. College is the perfect time to explore your options and figure out what it is that may or may not work for you and it is okay to be confused or not have all the answers. Once you’ve taken the time to figure that out, you can use your resources here at SUNY Potsdam or anywhere to further enhance your craft or skills.”
  9. When you think back on your time at SUNY Potsdam, what memory will you cherish the most?
    “Probably hearing the hesitation in people’s voices when they hear that I am a double major in dance and business administration, because they don’t understand how the two go hand-in-hand. They do! I can’t wait to be walking across the stage at Commencement with those two degrees hand-in-hand!”